Washington Heights’ Little Red Lighthouse will open for a rare public tour this weekend

Posted On Wed, July 24, 2019 By

Posted On Wed, July 24, 2019 By In Events, Washington Heights

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

New Yorkers looking to learn a little more about the city’s history are in luck. This weekend, the NYC Parks Department is offering a tour of Washington Heights’ Little Red Lighthouse. The lighthouse is rarely open to the public, but those interested can join the free tour with the Urban Park Rangers this Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

As 6sqft previously reported, the lighthouse was constructed in 1880 in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, before eventually being moved in 1921 to Jeffrey’s Hook, a small piece of land that juts out from Fort Washington Park and supports the George Washington Bridge. The lighthouse was originally constructed to warn incoming ships, but was deemed obsolete with the construction of the bridge and was decommissioned in 1948.

The subject of a popular children’s book, “The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge,” the lighthouse attracted media attention when the Coast Guard slated it for demolition. The popularity of the book saved the structure from being destroyed or auctioned off, and in 1951, the Coast Guard deeded it to the Parks Department.

Since then, the lighthouse has remained relatively untouched and was designated an NYC landmark, as well as added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

In 2002, the lighthouse was relit by the city. Since then, it’s remained a symbol of the area’s heritage, with tours being offered infrequently. Although Saturday’s tour is free, admission is on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure to show up early to guarantee a spot. Those interested can find more information here.

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Neighborhoods : fort washington,washington heights

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